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29/03/2011 18:13

The following is a short list of changes introduced with version (and

Version is an officially major release. Given our development model, with frequent upgrades that are not limited to bug fixes, deciding if an upgrade marks a significant cornerstone is somewhat arbitrary. However, in this case there are significant changes in many areas, with numerous new features, so we decided to mark this release as Version 4.2. It is also a way to underline the work done so far: we believe EPPI-Reviewer has progressed significantly since we came out of beta some six months ago.

The 'Review Statistics' tab:

This was re-designed from scratch, and now integrates the functionalities to handle the different situations that may happen when coding tools are changed from “Single User” and “Multiple User” data entry.
- “Completed” and “Not Completed” statistics are now two separate lists.
- On both lists, you can list the items that apply to each reviewer by expanding a row and clicking on the count column on each of the reviewer-specific rows.
- “Not completed” list now does not contain any items that are completed (making it easy to find stuff that should be completed or vice versa).
- Added ability to bulk complete/un-complete according to reviewer and code set. You can use the little “One way” and “Check” icons to do so. This is a powerful and potentially risky feature: suitable warnings will show up!

[NOTE, for FireFox users: all latest versions of FireFox are affected by a well known bug, as a result, the warning messages will provoke a crash if kept open for more than 40 seconds. I discuss more about this HERE (must log-on to see this post).]

The “Codes” tab (main screen):

- Added additional steps/checks to change between multi-user and single-user data entry. There's a check and a warning now if you try to move from multi- to single with the risk of leaving some items with un-completed codes. As the changes to review status make this easy to fix, we believe that the warning should be enough to help everybody understand what happens in this situation.

Duplicate checking:

- New feature: delete group (the “Bin” icon in “Manual/Advanced”).

This should be very useful when dealing with (few) overlapping groups.

The new standard way to deal with overlapping groups is:
1) Select a troublesome group (for example a group that has one or all members greyed out).
2) Go to the “Manual/Advanced” tab, click “Find” and the top “Go” button (Find Related Groups).
3) Under normal circumstances, there will be one group that contains all the items found in the other related groups (it will be the one with the highest Group ID). You can now delete all the other related groups (select the group and click on the “Bin” icon) and keep only the latest.
4) Situation is now normalised and ordinary features should work well and be easy to understand.
Please note also that with the previous update we have added the “Reset” features to deal with situations where a huge number of overlapping groups are present. The “Reset” features are explained within EPPI-Reviewer and should be used with care!

- New feature: add new group (“Plus” icon in “Manual/Advanced”).

It is now possible to add new groups of duplicates to cover the (rare) cases where some actual duplicates have not been spotted by the “Get new Duplicates” function.
The procedure is supposed to be self explanatory: a new window will appear when clicking on the “Plus” icon. There are plenty of explanations provided online, with hints created dynamically when necessary. Note that if you select the items you wish to group in the main “Documents” list, you will be able to quickly add them to a new group as the selection is maintained all the way to the “Add new Group” window.

Small changes:

- First group member is expanded when a group is loaded.
- The reference “Date” field is now shown in the expanded group-member view.

Document Details:

New Feature: native display of PDFs and PDF annotations.

This is a much awaited-for feature that has actually kept us busy for quite a while. The new functions will allow the following:
- Display the original PDF while coding. For the time being it won’t be possible to code text directly inside the PDF (you can still use the “Text Document” tab for this.
- Add short “Annotations” to the PDF. These are stand-alone small “Sticky notes” that can be saved and displayed in EPPI-Reviewer only. No export, search or coding-related features are present at the time. We are planning to add these features as soon as possible.

NOTE on Version almost immediately after publishing version, someone used these new features with a particular document that was able to crash the server side of EPPI-Reviewer. We had these features tested with some 100 different PDF documents, but I guess that testing is never enough! Apparently, the PDF conversion that happens behind the scenes is afflicted by an unknown bug. We have filed a bug report to the company that provided the conversion component and expect to hear from them soon enough. So far their support has been excellent: fast and very helpful. However, to protect the stability of EPPI-Reviewer we have decided to disable the “View PDF” feature while the bug is investigated. We will publish an update as soon as the bug will be solved.

Minor changes:

- Documents list: you can now edit the “Title” field of uploaded documents.
- Documents list and “Linked Records”: the list of uploaded documents now shows all documents coming from groups of linked records. The “short title” of the parent Item is shown to let you know to what Item the document was originally uploaded.
- Upload Documents: a few people complained about not being able to “cancel” started uploads. This was a problem especially because (under circumstances that probably depend on the Internet collection) sometimes the upload seemed to freeze forever and/or be unbearably slow. We have reworked the whole upload mechanism: it is now possible to cancel the upload and we hope that uploads will be smoother even when performed on slow Internet connections.

Other Changes:

Sources Tab: SourceLess items now appear inside the main sources table (but not in the “Manage sources/Add new” window). There is a new “manually added items” source in the source list. It behaves more or less as the others: if the table is unsorted it will always appear as the last source, you can list items and delete/undelete in bulk. This means that the “TOTALS:” row now lists all items across the review, making it easy to fetch summary figures about deleted and duplicate items.

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